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Salon on Glory of Linux Programming

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the hacks-and-glory dept.

Linux 20

Kodi writes "Salon Magazine posted an article on the glory associated with contributing to the Linux kernel. " I remember the first time I had a patch accepted into an actual open source project- It's a good fealing. (Equally wierd is installing a distribution and seeing your apps in there, and installing a binary of your own software *grin*). You might enjoy this bit- the kernel definitely has its own super-prestige associated with it.

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Linux is stoooooopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030531)

Linux is so dumb. Just wait you fools until Windows 2000 comes out. Its gonna rock!!!


Mr. Gates, I told you to create an account here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030532)

Besides, you forgot 3 words in your last sentence. It shoud read "Its gonna sink like a rock!!!"


so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030533)

Sounds like a pointless article to me. That's like standing on a roof and yelling "sex is great".

Linux is stoooooopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030534)

You don't know Linux. Try it before speaking!

Be cool!

LSL vs. OpenSource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030535)

Even wierder than installing your own binary is discovering that a "pro-linux" company has refused to comply with the terms of yourn *GPL* license because "very little money would be awarded in a law suit." LSL and Dan Irvin still bank on that they can "get away" with lieing to the Linux community. The written "offer" of providing source code is as empty as the LSL about [] page's claim that "[LSL's] entire operation is run with Linux." The website itself runs on FreeBSD, but LSL fails to credit the work of the FreeBSD developement team because they can "get away" with it. Well, FreeBSD != Linux and an empty offer for provide source code != compliance with GPL.

Dan Irvin, if your bothering to listen, PLEASE stop "getting away" with doing bad business. LSL needs to:

- Update the "about" page to state that the entire operation is run with "freely available operating systems" (it is NOT entirely run with Linux and Stronghold is not free software so it is not run entirely with free software either).

- Make distribution of source code a regular LSL *CATALOG* item instead of ignoring those that place an order for it and only making "special arrangments" for those users willing to complain on /. or UseNet. GPL requires *HONORING* a request for source code for a three year period if it was not distributed originally. What this means is that if LSL was continuing to distribute RedHat 4.0 and Slackware 3.0 without source code in March 1997 then LSL *SHOULD* be honoring requests for the source code to GPL packages withen RH 4.0 and Slackware 3.0 until March 2000 instead of telling customers when they call that it is no longer available.

However, instead of doing the above, Dan Irvin continues to operate LSL under the assumption that "getting away" with violating GPL is better than following licensing conditions for software that charges his company nothing for distribution. Source code to previous LSL product are still not items in the LSL catalog and the current LSL catalog includes products with binary only packages covered by GPL which LSL will also fail to honor source code requests for unless the customer bends over backwards to complain. That is not honoring the good faith nature of GPL! At the same time, Dan Irvin continues to post to UseNet as "" talking about supporting Linux development. Well, who are you trying to kid, Mr Irvin? The same people that buy into FreeBSD and Linux being exactly the same like the LSL "about" page claims? If you care about "supporting" Linux developement then HONOR the GPL and *DISTRIBUTE* the *SOURCE CODE*.

The power to mature linux is in the distribution of source code -- "why settle for anything less?"

After the party's over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030536)

Well, i enjoy then people send feedback, patches to me (wrote/maintains a GUI application thats shipped with the official RedHat, Debian and FreeBSD releases), that shows that there are people out there that realy care about the application i wrote. And the greatest pride is not that its shipping with the biggest OS releases, The real joy is that many people find it usefull. Thats what give me energy to maintain and inprove it.

Linux is stoooooopid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2030537)

smack SMACK

Good Article (1)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030538)

I think I will forward it to some non techie friends, it will explain to them why I do some
things that I do.
--Zachary Kessin

Salon is an e-rag (1)

swingkid (3585) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030539)

'nuff said

Dialing in to my Appletalk network (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030540)

The work Newberry did won't affect many people, and most won't even understand what it does. "I contributed some changes to the Appletalk stack that's in the Linux kernel. That makes it easier for a Linux machine to offer dial-in services for Macintosh users. If they wanted to use Appletalk over PPP, the support wasn't really there," he says. What he's really saying is that he's a tinkerer and he wanted his Macintosh to speak with Linux machines. He was able to make this happen because Linux comes with all of the source code available. Once he did so, he donated his code for all of the Mac-Linux users who might follow him.

Hmmm, so itwasn't my fault that I couldn't get that to work at all...

*sigh* my only patch went unattributed (1)

clintp (5169) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030541)

A patch in ext2fs about 2 years ago to fix timestamping on symlinks got inserted, but no comment in the release notes. :-(

Ah well, _I_ know it's there...and where it is.

so what? (1)

Anonymous Commando (6326) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030542)

But boy, if you've had great sex, you'd like the world to know...


Ahh the thrill... (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030543)

I still remember my thrill the day Linus himself asked me to try a patch for a tty kernel race condition I had uncovered in 1.2.10...

Sure, I didn't get my name in lights in the kernel source itself, but it was sorta neat getting an email out of the blue directly from Linus. (I hadn't emailed him -- he saw my post to linux-kernel, IIRC.)

Linux Kernel hype (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030544)

The less glamorous infrastructure has been a lot more work. Linux is possible because an extensive framework, consisting of a portable compiler, assembler, and linker that can be used for cross-compiling exists, as well as a C library.

In some ways a compiler is much harder than a kernel. In other ways the reverse is true (kernels have to deal with critical regions and race conditions).

Linux Kernel hype (1)

espie (10901) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030545)

I'm still wondering at the popularity of the linux kernel... On one point, it's a great thing. Loads of exposure for free software, annoying corporate people. On the other hand, it's only one project in a wide sea of Open Source Software projects...

The prestige is completely out of proportion. It is pretty easy to contribute to the kernel. You just have to find a small point which annoys you, and fix it.

Sure, it's an important part of a running system but, say, if glibc stopped working, or if developpers stopped writing XFree graphics drivers, well... I think you'd notice pretty soon.

It can also be a bit dangerous, since the `top' people want to be in the kernel, and they leave all the rest of the drudge-work to `less gifted' programmers. Not true yet, but a nightmarish scenario...

The FSF tried to insist on that point with their `GNU/linux' plea... bad PR at its worst. All they managed to do was give the impression they were peeved that Linus was succeeding where Hurd had failed.

After the party's over (1)

espie (10901) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030546)

Oh, and there's a downside to writing software that gets famous.

Sure, it feels great to see your baby on a redhat CD-Rom, but then... the bug-reports start coming in, or the simploid questions.

Quote (from D. Haynie, I think):
`programming is like sex. One mistake, and you have to support it for life.'

Just a word of caution: be sure to send out very proper and extensive docs with software you write. It's like a virus, and even older versions WILL be coming back to plague you for years.

so what? (1)

rdsmith (11517) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030547)

Sounds like a pointless article to me

Well, to you it may have been a pointless article. However, it was a good fluff piece on Linux and the Open Source/Free Software movement. And, since the plan is for World Domination on the Desktop, all the good news articles Linux can garner, the better.

Remember, the suits that control corporate buying decisions are not reading /. They are reading articles in Forbes, Salon and the like. So an article that presents the benefits (read: increase in market share, improving employee moral, etc) of supporting Linux and Open Source/Free Software is a good_thing(tm). Its not pointless at all.

two cents (1)

Bastid (15074) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030548)

I wish people would just leave linux alone.
I like it the way it is. We dont NEED media coverage. Go away ZDNet, Go away MSNBC.

Encourage newcomers (1)

tommortensen (15979) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030549)

OSS projects should encourage patches/feature adding, by listing TODO's that can
be handled by less experienced programmers, this will "boost the confidence" of
newcomers, and hopefully expand the group of active OSS contributers. I have do
ne this with success on one of "my" projects.

the glory of contribution (1)

grrrreg (16026) | more than 15 years ago | (#2030550)

is contributing to the linux kernel equivalent to the formula contributions described in 'the foundation trilogy'?
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